tv [untitled] January 23, 2014 4:00pm-4:31pm EST
breaking news on r.t.e. n.s.a. whistleblower edward snowden takes part in a live q. and a lots of people asked their burning questions to snowden including a question about his reaction to president obama's n.s.a. speech we'll take a look at his response just ahead and the capital of ukraine has seen countless clashing between protesters and riot police now a tense cease fire has been declared while opposition leaders negotiate with the government the latest from ukraine coming up. and the syrian peace talks have just wrapped david two in switzerland but with the two sides warring over assad's power in the country will the syrian government and rebels even be able to come to an agreement in geneva bring you more from switzerland later in the show.
it's thursday january twenty third four pm in washington d.c. i mean you're a david and you're watching r t. and we begin today with breaking news with a special q. and a chat conducted by former government contractor edward snowden today snowden gave a number of curious people out there the chance to have a conversation with him by offering them to ask some timely questions our very own sam sachs has been charting those questions and answers from our newsroom to say i have it seems like most people are dying to know what snowden's response is to president barack obama's speech on an essay reforms that he gave last friday do we have that response yet very well there were some questions about the timing of president obama's speech there were some voices who hadn't weighed in on the n.s.a. debate namely the privacy and civil liberties oversight board which released a report today showing that the n.s.a.'s bulk phone records collection program is
both illegal and useless to preventing terrorism stored and was asked particularly about that saying do you think it's a shame that obama gave his n.s.a. speech before his privacy and civil liberties oversight board reported that report so snowden responded to that by saying it's time to end bulk collection which is a euphemism for mass surveillance there is no simply justification for continuing an unconstitutional policy with a zero percent success rate in light of another independent confirmation of this fact i think americans should look to the white house and congress to close the book entirely on the two fifteen bulk records provision of course in the president's speech he didn't say anything about collection he said that he was going to move a retention of these records out of the government's hands and into some third party but he didn't say anything about collection which left a lot of people unsatisfied particularly edward snowden here cher and sam i know you've been tracking some other questions and answers what else have you found out
. snowden was asked also about a reuters report that alleged that he had stolen the passwords of his coworkers to upset obtain some of these documents snowden shot that report down saying that it was simply false and that he hadn't stolen any passwords or. tricked any of his coworkers as for snowden's well being he was asked what he thought of the whistleblower protection act that was been floated around by the president snowden replied to that saying if i had revealed what i knew about these unconstitutional but classified programs to congress they could have charged me with a felony one only need to look at the case of thomas street to see how the government doesn't have a good history of handling legitimate reports of wrongdoing within the system my case clearly demonstrates the need for comprehensive whistleblower protection act reform started of course referring to a former previous n.s.a. whistleblower thomas drake who exposed illegal call program out of the n.s.a. and he was charged with the espionage act out of that he eventually beat those
charges of course also members of congress already knew about this program so what snowden could have accomplished going to members of congress is is clear. some news today regarding stoughton's fate attorney general eric holder said that while he'll stop short of granting full clemency to snowden he said he's willing to have a conversation about some sort of resolution regarding edward snowden's fate so we'll have to see exactly what that means one more thing here that snowden talked about and was asked about he was asked whether or not american democracy can recover from these n.s.a. leaks and he responded by saying yes what makes our country strong is our system of values not a snapshot of the structure of our agencies or the framework of our laws we can correct the laws restrain the overreaches of agencies and hold the senior officials responsible for abusive programs to account so a hopeful there by snowden clearly not what you would expect from someone who is allegedly working as a spy trying to take down the united states as certain members of the house and
senate intelligence committees have alleged without any proof whatsoever of some very important questions there indeed answered well that was our political commentator sam sachs thanks so much thanks mary. and the national security agency program to collect vast quantities of information about phone calls has been determined illegal this is all according to an independent review done by the privacy and civil liberties oversight board also known as the p c l o b and a two hundred thirty eight page report released today the board concluded that the section two fifteen program has contributed only minimal value in combating terrorism beyond what the government already achieved through these and other alternative means and it added that says sation of the program would eliminate the privacy and civil liberties concerns associated with bulk collection without unduly hampering the government's efforts the board of course goes much further than what
president obama recommended in a speech given just last friday at the justice department there obama said he wanted to move private metadata out of the hands of the government but he did not call for an end to the program here to talk a little bit more about this development along with the latest on the n.s.a. i'm joined by a criminal morris davis law professor at howard university thank you so much for being with me so i want to start off with another quote from this report it says we have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the united states in which the telephone records program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a cap counterterrorism investigation so of course we know this is just coming out now a little bit later than president obama you know gave his speech we thought he might wait for it he did not. do you think even though he didn't wait for it we know that it was shared with him do you think that he took this conclusion into account before making his own decision but i think you probably did give the formal report
was not released until today but i'm sure that you know he was briefed on the contents of the reporting took that into account when he gave the speech on writing i don't think you'd want to give a speech on friday now that this come out of this we can contradict what. no again the report was not unanimous it largely split along party lines with two republican or primarily republicans to standing in three primarily democrats that were in favor of the results absolutely do you think it's at all possible that obama decided to give his speech before the report was released so that you know he thought maybe what was going to come out would undermine. you know what he was going to recommend i don't know i mean to attribute some sinister motive to the president but curious it was it was encouraging what he had to say on friday but you know he's given many encouraging speeches in the past and often there's not a lot of follow through so i'm hoping that there will be follow through this time and he will live up to what he promised to do what do you think about this latest
report what you think it says about the overarching constitutionality of the program should this sort of be the final nail in the coffin so to speak and regards to ending the ball collection of americans metadata and all the reporters came out today is two hundred thirty eight pages i haven't had a chance to read through it all have been one of the only one of the board members is judge patricia wald who you may have seen recently was awarded the presidential medal of freedom right. a great jurist a real credit to the legal profession someone that you know i look up to and admire greatly so given her involvement in issues a former judge on the international criminal tribunal for yugoslavia the former chief judge of the d.c. circuit court of appeals here in washington put a lot of stock in faith in her analysis of this situation and again it confirms what others have said you know the new america foundation did a study recently where they came to the same conclusion that you know we always hear oh we've got to have this program and people should trust the government to
retain all this data because it keeps america safe and it stops terrorist plots but again this is another group that said there's no proof to back that up. and i want to take a look at a pew research poll that came out this week of the people who heard obama's speech last friday seventy three percent of them say they are skeptical that the proposed changes will make a difference at all you know considering that and of course considering the results of this latest report do you think there's sort of a mounting pressure now on congress to do something about this to and this or do you think congress is really just going to be determining where that information is stored going forward versus actually ending the program to predict what congress will do when they need to look senator do you think there's a chance that this is pressure could some interesting a coalition this for me you have the left you know the progressive's on the left and the libertarian right there an agreement that this program out of the stops is
kind of you are getting some bipartisan guessing carriage bedfellows that are in agreement on trying to contain this program is kind of that middle moderate middle that's more accepting of trust the government has to be interesting to see going forward what happens with sure and the p.c.l. be says if it's opposed to having that information the metadata be stored with a third party. they did say that they would leave you know the idea of storing it with phone companies on the table do you think that storing it with phone companies is a better option or do you think both of them sort of sound questionable well i would much rather have. my phone carrier eighty into your verizon or someone storing i mean i may get spammed with e-mail trying to sell me stuff but unlike the government they don't have the ability to put me in prison or kill me or or do other kind of things so given the choice between the two i'd much rather have it in commercial hands and in government hands absolutely but you think that it's very
important to sort of have very detailed restrictions on how long they can hold that that information and i think so i mean certainly something you don't want kept in perpetuity but aris. well period of time i think the government does have a legitimate interest in being able to search these records is really the you know the devil's in the detail on the right way to structure this to you know to be fair to the american people and also to maintain our security absolutely well attorney general eric holder said on imus in d.c. today that while clemency for snowden really is sort of off the table the u.s. would consider a resolution so an alternative to clemency i think it's left a lot of people wondering what another resolution could mean give any insight as to what could be an alternative to clemency well i think i'm a maybe an anomaly people tend to put edward snowden into the he's entirely good or entirely bad camps and if you're not in agreement then you know people get rather angry with the i think i mean between the two i mean there's no doubt what he did
was wrong and he signed the same security paperwork that i signed and there's no if ands or buts about it being wrong to take classified information i think you ought to be accountable for that but i'm also pleased that we're having the discussion that he triggered i mean the president wouldn't have given the talk on friday but for edward snowden so there there is benefit to what he did as well so i think there ought to be some middle eastern country with eric holder that there should be a conversation had about it about something about an alternative i'm really disappointed with what members of congress and members of the intelligence community that say to be shot or words to that effect there ought to be some reasonable resolution that accommodates both the good and the bad and comes out with a fair result absolutely we'll have to see what happens colonel morris davis a professor at howard university thank you so much there. and now to the embattled ukrainian city of kiev in a temporary truce leaders of the opposition have called on protesters to refrain
from violence however the city center remained a blaze overnight there have been conflicting reports on the number of casualties but r.t. has confirmed that at least two have died so far both of them ultimately from gunshots authorities however have stressed that police are not equipped with live ammunition so far over two hundred police officers have also been injured during the riots with more than eighty of them hospitalized here's artie's peter oliver with more. but we've seen is groups of demonstrators and rioters in air across ukraine trying to. either occupy or demonstrate outside of government buildings now in the in the cities. and. we have seen the main. local administration buildings being occupied by demonstrators now i was looking online and on twitter of accounts of thousands of people involved also we've seen it on the local news here as well the scenes from then it's not just
those two cities in the west of ukraine we're also hearing over there of government offices being besieged all the at least the scenes of demonstrations so certainly the unrest in ukraine not limited to to the capital here in kiev now we are hearing from the government side that they are all ready to consider repealing or at least toning down new measures new laws that were brought in to tackle the violence here in kiev and we've also heard from the prime minister mr assad of who said that. he was he was ready to resign and his whole cabinet resign if the parliament here in ukraine decided they weren't up to the job now that's one of those things that's going to be up for discussion at a special session of the ukrainian parliament that will be held next week that was announced by by president victory on a call which also for discussion. that session upon the will be the
possibility of holding of holding elections we've also been seeing a reaction to what's going on here in kiev from other afield from abroad the european union has been particularly vocal on thursday we heard. from mr but also the president of the european union he had a he held a phone conversation a phone call with. with ukrainian president viktor which he said he was deeply concerned that conversation has to be on a call which assured him that they would be no state of emergency called in ukraine and they was no plans at the moment to to involve the military. extra type of security services on the streets now he wasn't the only european leader to talk about ukraine the. head of the european parliament martin schulz said that he in his opinion there has to be elections in ukraine immediately and he was calling for the ukrainian government to call those elections so the european union
applying pressure making their voices heard of over the subject of what continues to be a moment a standoff between rioters police and a lot of talks going on between the various sides here in ukraine. now is our teeth peter oliver and here to talk a little bit more about the u.s. reaction to what's happening in the ukraine i'm joined by our captain i was. so white house press secretary jay carney addressed the rioting in kiev at the white house press conference this morning so talk to me a little bit about what the u.s. response has been so far since all of this is really gone down but that hasn't really been much of a change in the u.s. response throughout the course of this crisis basically with washington again today threatening sanctions against ukraine if the violence there escalates the spokesman jay carney did praise the ukrainian president's decision to meet again with the protesters but he did basically pin the blame on the current crisis on the government saying that the president there has basically failed to address what he
called the legitimate concerns of the protesters now on the sanctions no firm decision just yet it does seem that washington is sort of hoping to basically wait it out not really resort to taking that step really hoping that in a coach will make some moves perhaps to calm the crisis down but it's not all empty threats we did see earlier this week the u.s. revoking the visas of several top ukrainian officials who were implicated in ordering police violence not in the latest crackdown but what happened in december in november interesting and vice president biden actually called the ukrainian president today what was that conversation it was on is ringing off the hook i think i've got a bunch of european leaders also call them biden basically urged me on the coach to keep on meeting with the opposition he said all the typical platitudes about deescalating the crisis trying to find a peaceful resolution to what's going on there he emphasized that he believes also that the ukrainian government is it's only the government of ukraine that can ensure a peaceful resolution to this
a basically saying the ball is in the government's court not really the protesters but we do have to keep in mind that of course while the protests were sparked by the decision by ukraine not to sign the e.u. pact it's really a volved and shifted into anger over government corruption police violence as well as harsh new anti demonstrate. an anti protest laws and biden did seem to make a veiled reference to that when he urged the ukrainian president to respect freedoms of assembly and expression and that when the writing first started i think it was in november you know the obama administration was saying very very little about it you know secretary kerry decided not to take a trip there but you talk about you know why the u.s. has really sort of been cautious in taking it it has been cautious and it seems to be that the muted response has less to do with ukraine and more about what else is happening on the agenda right now and internationally as well as the u.s. relationship to russia the two countries are kind of on polar opposite sides here with the u.s. sort of supporting more of
a european oriented ukraine russia of course wanting to see its former soviet republic in its orbit but really the white house doesn't want to be seen as provoking the kremlin on this issue because of course we have the cooperation between the u.s. and russia on several issues syrian chemical weapons the iran talks and of course the geneva two peace conference that's still going on in geneva so the u.s. not wanting to ruffle any feathers so what's the the latest on this truce how long is it supposed to last as there are definitive time or you know my experience with these things is you never know unfortunately there are so many elements on the ground there could be propagations on either side and while of course everyone i'm sure is rather grateful when they see these kind of truce agreements called for anything could really happen it's such a tense situation feelings are so high on both ends that any sort of mistake on either side could really sparked the conflict yet again and deed while lucy kavanagh thanks for your great reporting thank you. and iranian president hassan rouhani went to davis this week to talk about the potential for
a comprehensive nuclear deal and the hope for opening up the country to more investment ronnie is the first iranian president and more than a decade to join businesses and political leaders at the world economic forum which explains why the leader's speech took a front seat at the conference artie's katie pilbeam has warm. he is taking full advantage of the president of the country has some rouhani of the davos economic forum because it's incredibly timely for him we know that the six month interim deal that struck between the six major powers has taken effect this week and the message from him is a wrong is open for business and i say it's certainly timely because in the audience you've got two hundred fifty people the participants some of the richest people in the of the eighty billionaires hey we got forty heads of state so he's speaking to the right people and it's the first time in twenty years the iranian
media has come to this event and he is basically opening up the country to international investment he's worrying the likes of any tell you tell shell as well as exxon mobil throughout the day he wants to really drum up support for the oil industry that has been really suffering in the last two years because as they sanctions which will now be partially lifted thanks that interim deal that has been struck now he's got great expectations for his economy let's listen to the man himself. iran's economy has the potential to be among the world's top ten in the next three decades that's our long term goal which we're planning to achieve through our social economic as well as domestic and foreign policy my government is pursuing ideals and economic development democracy and the improvement of iran's foreign relations and that's impossible without our international engagement now considering a run has one of the biggest if not the biggest oil and gas reserves in the world
that is a feasible goal for the country and the relationships between iran and the west are now warming up thanks the sanctions being partially lifted and investors are keen to get involved as well. that was our tease katie pilbeam. and now to geneva where the international mediator for syria has decided to hold separate meetings with the government and the opposition after the warring sides failed to find any common ground during the first day of the syrian peace conference diplomats are hoping to bring syria's bitter rivals together for their first face to face talks tomorrow our teams in corpus going up is in switzerland and brings us more. right minister i'm sorry to. can you just read of yours you live. in syria i have. to give you this.
here in this forum the first day of the conference was expected to be spent listening to formal statements instead it was the scene of bitter exchanges as the syrian opposition pressed on with its calls for president assad to step down i think that i said is the problem and i said that i don't think the problem will be any solution without us it going stepping down as change of power in damascus is something that washington is pushing for as well bashar assad will not be part of that transition government but according to the u.n. secretary general this is neither up to washington nor any other outside players to be signed by the syrians who themselves have the primary responsibility to end the conflict determine their particular system and future as start repeating their country while democracy is willing to discuss anything from commenting terror to a partial cease fire anything that is except assad's resignation it seems the parties have a different understanding of the course of the talks indeed the only agree on the
one thing that a political solution is the only way no one should go no one's trying to gloss this over. that this is the beginning of a tough and complicated process more than forty countries and organizations and all suggest to gether how this must end that it has to have an inclusive syria but it's still the statements were indeed emotional when there were mutual accusations the but what's most important is that all the parties involved want direct talks to start as soon as possible. if that is the blizzard the first round of negotiations b.d.d. body you want it arab league special envoy on syria is expected to last one week after nearly three years of extreme violence it isn't a surprise the two sides of the syrian conflict on getting along very well frankly
just getting them in the same building me over to be considered a diplomatic breakthrough not to mention the talks which are scheduled to continue on friday hugo is going to are de monsoreau switzerland. and virginia lawmakers facing a shortage of lethal drugs used to carry out the death penalty have advanced a bill that could bring back the electric chair in the state the house of delegates in virginia passed the measure guest today sixty four to thirty two the bill allows the prisoner to choose the method of execution and puts lethal injection as the default but if the alternative is not available it says the remaining method of execution shall be employed meaning electrocution according to the death penalty information center right now only six states still authorize the use of the electric chair those states are alabama florida kentucky south carolina tennessee and virginia but historically those states have only moved to use the electric
chair if an inmate personally requests it since inmates were given the option in one nine hundred ninety five only six of the eighty five inmates executed since then have chosen electrocution over lethal injection a fairfax county democrat had this to say about the new bill he said it's a barbaric way for the state to execute people it's disappointing to me that my colleagues want to take a step backwards these calls to return to abandon forms of capital point punishment come as many states are encouraging rowing in countering excuse me growing complications over accessing lethal injection drugs as many factures refuse to supply the drugs for executions in the app. since of pentobarbital just last week ohio administered a two drug lethal cocktail that had never been used before on death row inmate dennis mcguire mcguire reportedly gasped several times and made snorting noises during a prolonged death that lasted almost twenty minutes boom bust is coming up next
here on our team joins us for a quick preview erin what's in store for us thank you america now coming up on boom bust anthony randolph so of the reason foundation joins me live in the studio today you won't want to miss our interview it's going to be exciting when ed harrison and i discuss the latest happenings at the world economic forum in davos switzerland it's all coming up the sounds like a jam packed show thanks aaron thanks. and that does it for now for more on the stories we covered you can go to youtube dot com forward slash our team america can check out our website our t. dot com forward slash usa can also follow me on twitter at and near i david stay tuned boom bust is next. i think. i'm.
just saying. well groomed in the future. is here so we fit the roads focus on new technology. on this month's show no policies complete with old school shootings. and we learn about the next in still suv evolution this is the potential to save lives. noisy update on alone we've got the future of coverage. one of the new will surely come on in washington d.c. making news all the space i just like you know mona.
lisa. a pleasure to have you with us here on t.v. today i roll researchers. plus i was a new alert animation scripts scare me a little bit. there is breaking news tonight and we are continuing to follow the breaking news. alexander's family cry tears of the. it great things out there that there has to be adequate rigor at the core of what found online is a story sort of movie is playing out in real life. there
i marinate it this is boom bust and these are the stories we're tracking for you today. first up we have anthony randolph though of the reason foundation live in studio today and we're not backing down with our line of questioning you know won't want to miss a moment of it is going to be awesome lots of fat is taking an extra hard look at non-banking institutions they believe to be irreplaceable and systemic for the world's economic help this puts warren buffett now in the fed's crosshairs we'll tell you all about it and in today's big deal ed harris and i discussed the goings on at davos this week and we asked the pope and asking does the financial glamour fast even really not all doesn't all that talk about it all coming.